From the same producers who brought you “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Sunshine Cleaning” is a warm, quirky, sad and emotionally uplifting story about families and the relationships and events that define them.
The ensemble cast of actors play off of each other beautifully. Amy Adams, as Rose the optimist, an ex-high school cheerleader and now a single mother trying to do the best for her son while working as a maid, is endearing. Emily Blunt, as her pessimistic sister Norah who lives at home with her irascible father (Alan Arkin) who is always in search of the next get-rich-quick scheme, is equally engaging. Arkin brings a fresh look to a familiar role.

Rose’s married boyfriend (Steve Zahn) and old high school sweetheart, is a homicide detective. He overhears a building supervisor complain about the cost of “cleaning up” following a suicide.
In need of quick cash, Rose and Norah are “advised” to go into the crime-scene clean-up business, a business they find more emotionally overwhelming then physically repulsive.
Additional characters, including a lonely blood bank worker and a one-armed cleaning supply salesman add another layer of punch to the movie.
Not as intense and funny as “Little Miss Sunshine”, the plot feels a bit contrived, however, the performances by Adams, Blunt and Arkin are worth the watch. At the end of the film, I found myself wanting to live with the family a little bit longer.

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Many people consider this one of the most frightening films they have ever seen. I wouldn’t exactly go that far…but for a suspense film, it’s top-notch. Maybe one of the reasons some folks see it as more of a horror movie than a thriller is that the main character is blind and it is a little more dastardly to taunt and threaten a person with a disability of some sort. The blind person, in this case, is Audrey Hepburn, who is quite convincing as a person without sight. You never really think…oh, well she’s just acting. You actually believe her blindness… forgetting that she’s Hepburn and, of course, not really blind. Hepburn’s boyfriend gets unintentionally tangled in a drug smuggling ring and through a series of events, the man looking for his drugs comes after Hepburn. Even though the entire films packs suspense, the finale is the part that really will have you jittering if your seat.

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